In my last blog about the 72 million people that are into cross-border ecommerce I mentioned that the average Facebooker spends 25.4 min/day on Facebook. That is a staggering 12.7 hrs a month, equaling over 1.5 workdays! That seems to be a lot of time wasted, or shall we say, repurposed. Assuming that lots of the Facebook time actually happens at work, could we argue that the phenomenal growth of the social networks actually contributed to the decline of the economy?
Lets have a look at what Alexa says on how much time visitors spend on the other networks: YouTube 23.3 min/day, MySpace 21 min/day, LinkedIn 6.7 min/day, Twitter 9.3 min/day (I didn’t add Bebo, as Bebo users are too young to work). When you multiply that time spent with their estimated user numbers (FB 200m, YT 200m, MS 150m, TW 30m, LI 50) assuming that 33% is active, and 50% is in the USA, you get a staggering 5332 manyears per day repurposed to social networks. Assuming that 75% of the social networking is actually spent at work, and a USA GDP/capita of $30k, you are looking at $150m lost in real productivity per day. On an annual basis that means a lost productivity of around $55B, or around 0.38% of the USA 2008 GDP. Given the annualized Q4 2008 contraction of US GDP of 6.2%, you could argue that social networks caused around 5% of the recession (assuming that the social networks did not generate lots of GDP). No wonder that companies are increasingly blocking IPs of social networks.
Now stop reading this blog and go back to work!
Catch you later
I received lots of great feedback on our Bundle Tech site. There was excitement about the problems we are trying to solve, there were compliments on the design of the site and words of encouragement on starting a business in this environment. And then there was the question: Cross-border commerce, who is into that? Why didn’t you do something in social networks, those are hot, everyone is into social networks!
Well, lets have a look at how many people are into cross-border ecommerce.
My best guess is to start with eBay. The last official data I can find on eBay cross-border trade is from 2005, where eBay reports that 15% of their transactions are cross border. Applying that to today’s GMV, this would mean a cross-border trade on eBay of around $9B. Assuming eBay represents a third of total cross-border ecommerce this would mean that the total market size for cross-border ecommerce is around $27B.
If we take an average transaction value of $150, the $27B would translate into around 182 million transactions per year. If we assume that on average people buy 2.5 items a year from abroad, this would mean that around 72 million people are ‘into’ cross-border ecommerce. A bit less than the number of people that are into Facebook et al, but still a sizable amount. They will work at it a bit less than the 25.4 min/day that the average Facebooker is spending on Facebook, but still.
72 million people buying something from a website in another country, does that sound about right to you? Let me know if you have any comments.
Catch you later
To support our cause, and make you look good, we have created some nice t-shirts for our biggest fans. Have a looksie in our shop Bundle Shirt, browse through the virtual aisles and stumble upon that great t-shirt.
Take care, and have a great Easter break